Garden Mansions in the 19th Century Istanbul | Idil Ayral


“.. There was a large, well-kept garden and trees in it, right next to the Harem we know. While all the houses of the Bosphorus should have gardens, these are so few that it would give the eyes a new pleasure to see the flowers that suit the water’s edge here. When the eyes grasped the selamlik mansion, which, again by the sea, consisted of a single room, resembling a pavilion, looking innocent and cute like a baby and a child, before entering inside, one would understand the pleasure of this reclusive silence and poetry in it ...

Ottoman architecture turn to a different direction, especially in the period referred to as the “Westernization/Modernization”—albeit controversial—in the historical literature on and after the Tulip Period. This book which is about the architectural works of this period, in which new interpretations were sought and the rapidly changing cultural and social structure reflected on every field, was published to shed light on the cultural approach of the period with examples of gazebos built in Istanbul gardens throughout the 19th century.


While the book touches on the garden culture of the Turks with its main lines, it also reveals the development of the Seljuk and Ottoman understanding of gardens and the general characteristics of the gardens. In addition to texts, photographs and architectural drawings collected from the archives, it exemplifies the garden mansions of the period with visual documents such as plans, facade drawings, miniatures and murals. The fact that it offers examples of garden and gazebos designed in Europe in the 19th century also provides the opportunity to compare with those in Istanbul.